Truman Adds Undergraduate Option to Data Science Program


Truman’s data science program continues to grow following the addition of a bachelor of science option starting this fall.

Last month, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development approved Truman’s newest bachelor’s program. Students can now get an undergraduate degree in data science. Truman is among the first institutions in Missouri to offer a bachelor’s degree in this emerging career field.

Simply put, data science focuses on making meaning from information. Program participants learn how to collect and analyze data, as well as gain knowledge of techniques to effectively communicate insights that can be used to solve problems through informed decision making. Nearly every industry utilizes data to some extent, from businesses trying to effectively manage inventory and purchasing decisions to streaming platforms suggesting what to watch next.

“Everyone has tons of data and they don’t know what to do with it,” said Scott Alberts, chair of the Department of Statistics and Data Science. “This program focuses on making meaning from information, including use of tools such as distributed computing and machine learning. Those skills can be used in a wide array of career fields, making this a versatile and valuable degree.”

Data science is a field that naturally fits with a liberal arts education. Practitioners draw heavily on critical thinking and problem-solving skills associated with the liberal arts. Currently, starting salaries for data scientists typically range from $70,000-80,000 per year.  

The bachelor of science joins a growing stable of data science options at Truman. The University already offers an online master’s degree, as well as a 15-credit certificate program for working adults seeking to add skills to enhance their careers. Because Truman has been making strides in data science for years, the course infrastructure to support a full undergraduate program is already in place.

Truman’s Bachelor of Science in data science degree includes a minor or second major as part of the program. Complementary fields of study are computer science, mathematics and statistics, but data science students can have a concentration in most fields, including biology, health sciences, psychology or business, among others.

“The data science options at Truman have been designed to be ‘stackable’ so students can tailor them to best fit their needs,” said Hyun-Joo Kim, chair of the Department of Computer Science. “Every class gives you a new job skill.”

Students can start working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in data science as early as this fall. More information about data science offerings through Truman can be found online or by contacting the Admissions Office at or 660.785.4114.